Fabricio Coloccini red card right, according to rule book

Date published: Sunday 25th October 2015 1:40

Fabricio Coloccini: Sent off

Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini was controversially sent off in Sunday’s 3-0 Wear-Tyne derby defeat, but was the referee right to give him a red card?

Coloccini knocked Steven Fletcher over with a old-fashioned shoulder barge, as the Sunderland striker raced into the box to get on the end of a through ball.

The Toon skipper was red-carded and was left furious, so was boss Steve McClaren who remonstrated with referee Robert Madley at half-time, but according to the rule book the official was well withing his rights to award Sunderland a penalty.

The rules state.

“The act of charging is a challenge for space using physical contact within playing distance of the ball without using arms or elbows. It is an offence to charge an opponent:

  • in a careless manner
  • in a reckless manner
  • using excessive force

In Sunday’s incident the ball was not within playing distance, therefore Coloccini’s challenge was illegal, while it could have also been construed as careless, reckless and using excessive force – all three.


But while the penalty was correct, according to the letter of the law, the award of penalty seems more contentious.

Was Coloccini denying a clear goalscoring chance?

Gary Lineker claimed the red card was incorrect and thought the goalkeeper would have denied a clear goalscoring opportunity, but Madley thought otherwise and punished Newcastle again.

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